Sexual Harassment

  1. Recently, my unit had a series of mandatory meetings on sexual harassment. Since then, I have been the recipient of numerous lewd and inappropriate remarks by a number of my female co-workers.
    I have no particular objection to this. I just wanted to share.

    (Not meaning to make light of those who are genuinely harassed, sexually or otherwise. But, dang, don't the suits recognize that we dedicated healthcare professionals are basically just a bunch of junior high school kids, at heart?)
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   compassion1
    I believe you only report it if you find the incident/s upsetting to you. Just be careful in your response back. Fun is one thing but harassment is another thing completely. And yes, you need to be silly/nutty/goofy once in awhile. The job is stressful enough. I had the owner of a facility I worked in try to make me the flavor of the month, attempting to kiss me at my nurses desk, etc. I reported him. It didn't happen again. At least I didn't sue him like others had. It's all in how you perceive the words/actions.
    Now, can I give you a cyber kiss?
  4. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    To me, if a peson feels it's inappropriate, then it's harrassment.
  5. by   Tweety
    Heck at your age, of course you have no objection.

    Sorry, bad joke.

    It's ok for you to have no objection to it. But I agree with Marie, if someone else finds it objectionable they need support.

    I've had many comments of a sexual nature, or especially comments about my amble butt, and since I haven't nipped it in the bud, asked them to stop, or complained to higher ups, it's my own fault for allowing it. I take it in stride and realize it is mostly just harmless talk and don't feel degraded.

    Female on male comments of this nature are more common than females would like to admit. Males of course don't complain. However, this shouldn't give males permission to make lewd comments to females either.

    Finally, I'm not sure I can buy into the idea that we are just high schoolers at heart. My hormones are firmly under control, thank you very much.
    Last edit by Tweety on Jan 14, '07
  6. by   SuesquatchRN
    Quote from Tweety
    Finally, I'm not sure I can buy into the idea that we are just high schoolers at heart. My hormones are firmly under control, thank you very much.
    Well, yeah, now that we don't have any left!
  7. by   nursemike
    At the risk of seriousness, it occurs to me that people who genuinely like and care about each other don't harass each other, even when they flirt and joke around. At one of our workshops (we said they were to improve the efficiency of our sexual harassment) one of the moderators asked how you know whether your comments are welcome. My initial reaction was that you can tell a lot by their nonverbal responses, but in truth, I think we usually know before we say anything, and the recipient pretty much always knows the difference between playful fun and remarks that make you feel dirty.
    I will admit, there are probably times when it's just as well that my middle-aged physiology doesn't have to try to keep up with my junior high mentality. And it isn't always sexual. Had a patient awhile back with orders for "pulmonary toilet Q2H." I was able to figure out that this was the unabbreviated version of "chest PT"--which I'd always assumed was "chest physical therapy." Even so, several of us spent the rest of the night sounding like Beavis and Butthead: "Pulmonary toilet, heh, heh..."
    Don't believe I've ever had a cyber kiss, before, but it has a nice sound about it.
  8. by   TazziRN
    I never did understand how someone can make a comment to me, and I think it's funny, and someone standing nearby who is offended by the comment make a claim for sexual harassment.
  9. by   Roy Fokker
    Since I'm the only "guy" on the floor, it's often a fun ride. Plenty of times, my co-workers will be complaining about their husbands and boyfriends and "men in general" - and I'd pipe in with a comment such as "insert typical male response here" or "yes, continue to discuss men like none are around".

    Cracks 'em up everytime.

    Never had sexual comments made - but have often cracked some "dirty" jokes. Couple nights ago, it was the pits... absolutely crazy workload. So I told morning shift that we had a "BOHICA" night. They laughed their pants off.

    Personally "harrassment" to me is behavior that is repeated despite being told to "stop". I give a fair shake to the other person - I let 'em know that their behavior makes me feel uncomfortable and I'd like 'em to stop. If they repeat it after I've asked them to stop, I report it.

    Quote from TazziRN
    I never did understand how someone can make a comment to me, and I think it's funny, and someone standing nearby who is offended by the comment make a claim for sexual harassment.
    That's just nuts. :uhoh21:


    cheers,
  10. by   Fun2, RN, BSN
    I think the sexual harassment claims are going out of control.

    If it's a rude comment, you've asked them to stop, but it continues...of course complain about it.

    If you're in the middle of an attempted rape, etc, or you are raped, press charges.



    If someone tells you your butt looks so fineeeeeeeeeeeee, take it as a compliment. It's not like that's a remark that is going to harm you for life.
  11. by   nursemike
    I truly think it has a lot to do with intent. If a co-worker told me my butt was fineeeee, it's unlikely she (or he, for that matter) would be intended to belittle me. I do have female co-workers I know well enough that they would take such a remark as a compliment, but others might feel I was treating them as a sex-object. I may, and often do, flirt with them, too, but in far less explicit terms. Flirting isn't flirting without respect--it's harassment.
    I do think it's important to respect the sensibilitiies of those who might overhear a remark. Certainly, some things we think are cute or fun might not seem so in front of a patient or visitor, and I think the same is true for some co-workers whose religious or feminist beliefs, for example, might be offended.
  12. by   Tweety
    Mike, I'm not a prude. I have a good time at work. I invite comments about my butt when I'm dancing around shaking my bon bon at work. Anyone watching would think I was 12 years old, and not 47. We have a good time. I know how to have a good time and when and how to act professionally.

    You said something very important...........we have to respect the sensibilities of others. I disagree with Fun2Care that we should make others feel the way we do......"take it as a compliment......". Some people are highly offended that you're looking at their butt at work and have the gall to comment on it. You have no idea where that person is coming from. Perhaps she/he was an abused child and isn't comfortable and considers it harrassment rather than a compliment. This person needs to be completely respected, apologized to, and not forced to "get a life, it's only a compliment, you're over reacting, it's not sexual harrassment."

    Your intentions may be pure, and that should be a consideration, but it's how it's received that is most important in my opinion, not the intention.

    So I have a good time with folks at work, but guard my tounge very carefully because the bottom line is when I'm sitting in HR and they ask "did you comment on her physical body?" it's going to be deemed unprofessional in the least, harrassment in the worst....intention of complimenting aside. They aren't going to buy into "hey we're really just a bunch of kids having a good time!"..........."wrong...the standard is adult professional behavior".
    Last edit by Tweety on Jan 15, '07
  13. by   Tweety
    Quote from Suesquatch
    Well, yeah, now that we don't have any left!
  14. by   JBudd
    Quote from TazziRN
    I never did understand how someone can make a comment to me, and I think it's funny, and someone standing nearby who is offended by the comment make a claim for sexual harassment.
    I banter along with everyone, but sometimes a few folk will go too far, with crude language, and then it makes me very uncomfortable whether at me or not. I wouldn't make a claim for harrasement, but it does create a "hostile workplace" as they say. I walk away, or make a comment that lets them know it isn't funny anymore. What goes on around you affects you even if not directed at you. But to turn in a claim? no.

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